I believe being organised is one of the best skills you can have in the working world. When we are organised, we think clearly and can channel our attention onto the finer details of the task. I always believe it is better to be in a position where you are organised enough to be pro-active at work, rather than working re-actively in a stressful and cluttered environment.
Having been in my new job for a few months now, I can honestly say one of my saving graces is that I am OTT organised. I’m a lover of lists and pretty stationary as it is, so any excuse to buy more is great!
Here are my 5 top tips for staying organised at work:
- De-clutter your workspace…
I’m the sort of person that likes everything to have a place, a home. So I find it really useful to keep my desk as tidy as possible. Strip down your desk supplies to just the bare essentials. Pens, highlighters, notepad and important documents are likely to be the only vital things you will need at hand. Create homes for these things so you always know where to look if you have misplaced something!
- … And that includes your computer!
There’s nothing worse than a cluttered desktop! Having an untidy desktop can be just as damaging as an untidy desk. Rename all your files so that if you need it in a years’ time, you will know exactly what it means. If it is a time-sensitive item, like a report or presentation, put the date that you created it or that date it is needed for in the title. Using folders is also key to organising your files.
- Plan your time effectively
For me, every day at work is different. Some days can be a lot busier than others, but I always find it useful to start the day with a plan. I tend to plan ahead, so near the end of each working day, I will spend a few minutes prioritising tasks for tomorrow and clearing down my inbox. A good plan for the next day helps me to leave work feeling calm and ready to relax in the evening.
- Give yourself a free hour
This ties in the daily plan, but I like to allocate an hour a day to “free time”. Now, I don’t mean play Candy Crush or gaze out of the window. This hour is for the unexpected and unpredictable things that can (and do) happen, sometimes at the worst possible moment. Unless urgent, these surprises get dealt with in my free hour, where I try to shut out the rest of the world and concentrate on the task at hand.
- Take a break
Especially, if like me, you work in an office and spend the majority of the day looking at a screen. If you are allowed, try to take one screen break in the morning and one in the afternoon. Your eyes will really thank you! Wherever you work, you will be entitled to one or more breaks throughout the day and it is so important that you take them. Getting away for even 5 minutes can really feel like hitting refresh and stepping back can help you to re-assess the day’s priorities.
I hope these tips help you to stay organised at work. Simply spending a few minutes a day on organisation can really change your working life! Read my post on more general organisation tips here!